Greetings Cloud 9 Friends and Supporters!
We can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve shown over the past two years. You are the foundation on which Cloud 9 stands. Without you, this project would not be possible, and as we move forward into a new growing season a new phase for Cloud 9, we hope that you’ll continue your support for this important work.
Cloud 9 is moving in exciting new directions. As many of you already know, Clare Hyre has decided to step down as Co-Director of Cloud 9 in order to focus on her youth empowerment and food justice work with Weaver’s Way Community Programs. We are eternally grateful for all that Clare has done, and she will continue to be involved as a regular volunteer, ally, and adviser.
Rania will continue as Director of Cloud 9 and is looking forward to building upon the great work we began together. Rania will use her passion for urban food production and creative use of space, her skills as a community organizer, and experience as an urban gardener and farm educator to carry out the vision we developed as a Cloud 9 team.
Rania and Clare have devised a transitional plan for Cloud 9, both for the added responsibilities Rania will be assuming, and a revised direction for the project. In 2012, our plan was to put a garden on a roof. Though we worked diligently, Cloud 9 was unable to build as planned due to unexpected roof site complications. This was a challenging experience for all parties involved, and we at Cloud 9 learned a lot, including how much support there is for rooftop agriculture in Philadelphia, regardless of the challenges inherent in such a project.
Which brings us to the revised vision: Cloud 9 will work to make rooftop agriculture viable and vibrant in the city of Philadelphia through education, demonstration, and community support.
Cloud 9 is not leaving behind the vision of a rooftop farm, but rather focusing on its strengths as an organization; educating, gardening, and community organizing to make rooftop farming a reality for as many individuals, organizations, and communities as possible.
This season, the Cloud 9 vision is being pursued two ways. Cloud 9 is in conversation with a residential building in North Philadelphia to construct a small, demonstration rooftop garden that will be used for experimentation and research with the goal of developing best practices for the Philadelphia Region. Cloud 9 will build a mobile rooftop garden to offer education at the ground level about rooftop growing conditions, systems of irrigation, and the environmental benefits. The garden will be interactive and featured at community events throughout the area.
These two goals are tangible and feasible, bringing the Cloud 9 mission to a new level of actualization. We hope that you are as excited as we are about these next steps. We welcome any feedback or support you may have in regards to this vision.
Once again, thank you so much for your continued support of Cloud 9. We feel blessed to be a part of the growing urban farming movement in Philadelphia, and are so happy to be in community with you.
Best Regards, Cloud 9